Minnesota Timberwolves: Evaluating Robert Covington trade partners, mock trades

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Minnesota Timberwolves

Minnesota Timberwolves Robert Covington. (Photo by Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via Getty Images)

Robert Covington is the Minnesota Timberwolves’ best tradeable asset. Here are the latest buzz and mock trades as the trade deadline nears.

The Minnesota Timberwolves are plummeting in the Western Conference standings and becoming the league’s laughingstock.

Losers of 12 straight, Minnesota (15-34) has the league’s fifth-worst record and a 42.1 percent chance at a top-4 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, according to Tankathon. Meanwhile Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t won a game since Nov. 27, 2019 — 19 games. Since then, Minnesota is 5-26 after a 10-8 start.

The Timberwolves are surely sellers, having sent Jeff Teague and Treveon Graham to the Atlanta Hawks, helping clear a roster spot. They’ll continue to be a factor as the NBA’s Feb. 6 trade deadline nears. Robert Covington has become one of the hottest trade commodities.

The latest is rumor is that the Houston Rockets are angling to acquire Covington by moving Clint Capela to meet the Timberwolves’ trade wishes in a potential deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Along with the Rockets, the Philadelphia 76ers are interested in bringing Covington back, the New York Times’ Marc Stein reported. Stein also said that the Minnesota Timberwolves would like D’Angelo Russell, which is no secret.

Covington, 29, is two years removed from an All-NBA Defensive Team honor. He is on a team-friendly deal worth $25.1 million over the next two seasons, and while it extends beyond the 2021 free agent class, it still holds value.

There are growing concerns among league executives regarding Covington’s health. He suffered a bone bruise on Dec. 31, 2018, tried to work his way back and couldn’t fully recover, undergoing knee surgery in April 2019.

He returned this season and has played 48 of 49 games. He’s the premier 3-and-D player on the trade market, though he’s only shooting 34.6 percent from 3-point range this season, regressing from a combined 37.2 percent from the previous 115 games (spanning from 2017-19).

Minnesota first acquired Covington from Philadelphia as part of a deal that sent Jimmy Butler to the Sixers. The Wolves also received Dario Saric and Jerryd Bayless, who are both elsewhere.

Here’s a look at Covington’s fit and potential trades with several teams.

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